Headache is any pain or irritation in the head and may have a variety of underlying causes, such as trauma, illness, and disease. Headaches are usually the most frequent cause of acute head pain. Other causes of severe head pain may include infection, nerve damage, or issues with blood vessels.
Migraine headaches usually affect the temple region. Pain that extends across the forehead and into the temples is called central migraine. Pain on one side of the head is called rhizotomy, and pain on one side of the head with vomiting and nausea is termed primary headache. A milder form of this condition is called septic migraine.
Severe headache that persists for more than 4 days is usually caused by medication misuse. Medication overuse headache is very similar to true migraine. Most of the time, medication overuse headaches are caused by taking excessive amounts of medication for conditions that don’t require them. For example, a headache might be caused by taking too many pain relievers for back pain. Sometimes, sufferers will use several medications, but they will be under the impression that they are taking enough.
Severe headache that doesn’t settle after a few hours is usually known as postdrome phase in an underlying condition. In postdrome phase, people may feel unwell, have problems concentrating, have trouble sleeping, experience sweating and shaking, and may develop mental status changes (such as fidgeting and twitching). Many times people will be treated by a neurologist and then put on medication over the counter. They may also undergo neurosurgical intervention.
Sometimes, migraine symptoms are not triggered by medication use. In such cases, other factors are believed to trigger migraine episodes. Stress can be a trigger for severe headaches, especially when it affects a person’s sleep pattern. Medical researchers have found that there are certain chemicals (such as endorphins) that act as natural painkillers. Migraines that result from stress can still be treated with anti-depressants, or Botox injections.
People who suffer from tension headaches tend to become irritable or tense, which is often counterproductive. If tension headaches tend to occur after illness or injury, a doctor will most likely recommend relaxation techniques, such as massage or hot packs. Another potential cause for tension headaches tend to be psychological: stress-induced headache is common among office workers and is believed to be related to increased anxiety. A stress-induced headache can last several hours and may continue even after the patient has left work, depending on how much stress the individual experiences.
As previously mentioned, there are many causes of pain relievers, and it may take some time before one finds the right one. While the best method is still being researched, sufferers of tension headaches may get rebound headaches usually after using pain relievers. Patients should avoid taking aspirin or any other over-the-counter pain reliever if they have a history of rebound headaches. If you do experience rebound headaches after using pain relievers, you should see a doctor right away, since this may be a symptom of something more serious.
Headache treatments vary depending on how they are to be used, but doctors generally recommend a combination of pain relievers, cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, and therapy to treat these kinds of headaches. These treatments are considered the standard treatments for headaches, and they are effective. Some doctors offer additional treatments in case a patient develops any of these other problems: psychotherapy, lifestyle counseling, acupuncture, vitamin or mineral supplements, and alternative treatments like homeopathy. It is important to talk to a doctor or a qualified health professional when considering different headache treatments.